• Pasta alla gricia: An iconic Roman dish of pecorino cheese, pepper and guanciale or cured pork jowl. (Jono Fleming)Source: Jono Fleming

A simple pasta throw-together that's ready in 15 minutes, complete with chunks of guanciale and a good shaving of Roman pecorino.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (36 votes)


  • 400-500 g dried pasta (rigatoni, spaghetti, bucatini, bombetti or mezze maniche)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 150 g guanciale, cut into 4-mm wide pieces (see Note)
  • 130 g pecorino Romano, freshly grated
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente (1 minute less than the packet suggests).

2. Meanwhile, place the oil and guanciale into a large frying pan and fry gently over low heat for 5-6 minutes or until the fat has rendered and the pieces are looking crispy.

3. Once the pasta is ready, drain, saving some of the starchy cooking water. Tip the pasta into the frying pan and toss well. Turn off the heat and add two-thirds of the cheese and a little pasta cooking water and stir through vigorously to create a creamy texture. Divide between bowls and top with the remaining cheese and a generous grinding of black pepper.



Guanciale is cured pork jowl and is available from delicatessens and speciality butchers.


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